HYDERABAD: Electoral strategist Prashant Kishor on Sunday said that he won't be "personally" campaigning for any party in the 2019 General elections and also dismissed rumours, in not so many words, that he won't be jumping into active politics.
However, he also said, "If I choose to come back, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be more than welcoming."
Kishor who is these days busy with his own venture, IPAC, speaking to media for the first time, in a freewheeling conversation with veteran journalist Sankarshan Thakur, Kishor said, "In 2019, you will not find Prashant Kishor campaigning for anyone in the way I have been doing for the last four or five years. But there is a difference between me and Indian Political Action Committee (IPAC)."
IPAC, which is founded by Kishor, as their website describes, is a 'cross- party advocacy group which endeavors to support the election of visionary, progressive and inclusive leaders to public offices".
Giving his reason for taking a backseat from electoral life, Kishor said, "For the last two years I have been trying to get our of this domain. I had told my colleagues that I would be quitting post UP (elections)."
Kishor has worked as the electoral strategist for a myriad of parties. He started off with the then Chief Minister Modi for the 2012 Gujarat Assembly Elections and went on work with Modi for 2014 elections too. Post 2014, he left to work with Nitish Kumar. Then he shifted to work for Congress for the UP elections where the party faced a crushing defeat in the hands of BJP. He has been currently working for the YSRCP in AP.
"The reason I did not quit post UP elections, is because I-PAC was not doing well and it wouldn't have been right to leave it then," he said, adding that I-PAC has grown as organisation, has lots of employees and would work better than under him.
So, what is Kishor's plan after this? Well, he said, "I want to personally leave the space and I want to do something which connects with the grassroot." Kishor plans to either go back to Gujarat (from where he started his career) or go back to his homeland Bihar. "I'm 41, I want to spend at least 10 years working in the grassroots. But you will not see me campaigning in 2019, like I was before, " Kishor added.
Dismissing media reports that he would be joining active politics he said that there wasn't any specific reason behind coming in front of media, now -- for the first time in six years. "It is maybe because I am taking a backstep from campaigning for parties, or maybe just because I like ISB. But one thing is clear, I want to go back and work in the grassroots. I have worked enough with the leaders."